Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman is a popular bazaar-style shopping paradise that particularly caters to silk lovers, antiques collectors and some rare handicrafts as well as paintings enthusiasts. Named after the first king of independent Malaysia, and commonly known as Jalan TAR, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman is one of the busiest roads in downtown Kuala Lumpur. Traffic congestion is a norm on a daily basis especially during lunch and peak hours. Therefore, it’s best to take the Light Rail Transit to reach here and explore Jalan TAR by foot.
Jalan TAR is a long street stretching all the way from Merdeka Square to Little India. The signature landmark of Jalan TAR is the Global Silk Store which sells authentic high quality silk products ranging from dresses to clothes. Other equally famous landmarks are the small, bazaar-style carpet shops which clustered around the southern end of Jalan TAR. The all-time popular department store Sogo is also located at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman has been extensively developed in the last few years due to modernization process of downtown Kuala Lumpur. A lot of old buildings have been demolished and replaced by sophisticated skyscrapers. Small time hotels and motels have either gone out of business or are being taken over by capital-rich conglomerates that drive the mushrooming of luxury hotels around here. Shop-houses are renovated and put a new coat of paint that follows the sophisticated trend. Despite all the modern development in recent years, Jalan TAR has retained much of its historic architecture, revealed in many of the striking 19th-century and early 20th century facades that still exits above the gaudy shop signs.
Among the most interesting and significant of these structures is the Coliseum Cinema. Barring a few years during World War II, the cinema has been in business since 1921, making it Kuala Lumpur’s oldest running movie hall. These days, it screens Hindi and southern Indian Tamil films. Visitors are free to explore the building. Next door to the cinema, and built around the same time, the Coliseum Café and Hotel was once the favorite hunt of colonial planters and tin miners. Surprisingly, the English author Somerset Maugham was one of its early patrons in the past. The Coliseum Café and Hotel still offers cheap meals, budget accommodation, and an authentic early 20th-century atmosphere that has changed little over the years.
In conclusion, Jalan TAR or Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman still has its colonial charm that drives visitors here despite all the modernization that is taking place. It’s one of the few tourist destinations in Kuala Lumpur that has remained both historically and culturally rich.
Map for Getting Around Jalan TAR in Kuala Lumpur: